Victoria mural artists Joshua Lundrigan (from left) and Paul Archer join Rob Chyzowski, co-owner of Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner in front of an Archer-designed mural that went up on Thursday at the Inner Harbour restaurant. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Positivity rules with new outdoor mural from Victoria artist

Paul Archer teams with Belleville's Watering Hole and Diner for patio project

Victoria restaurateur and publican Rob Chyzowski is known for providing customers a positive social environment, and his latest design ideas promise more of the same.

He teamed up with Victoria airbrush muralist Paul Archer, who produced a colourful rock and roll-inspired period piece for the west wall of the outdoor dining area at Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner, which overlooks the Inner Harbour from the Days Inn on Belleville Street.

“There’s so much craziness going on, we just want peace and love and to make things positive right now,” Chyzowski, the establishment’s co-owner, said Thursday as a crew installed the panels.

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With this week’s provincial public health regulations banning indoor dining until at least April 19, outdoor spaces are the only chance restaurants have at the moment to keep people coming in.

“We just want a full experience here,” Chyzowski said. “Everything’s social distancing, but we still want to have a little positivity, make people smile, that’s really what we want.”

Archer’s lifelike musical icons and other imagery are found in locations around town – mostly indoors.

“(Chyzowski) wanted something super colourful and to bring back the ’60s and ’70s, the good days of freedom and fun and everything,” Archer said. “It’s a good message to put out, something positive and colourful, especially in the times right now.”

The 3D-style cutout mural on painted plywood features musical stars of the past and generic smiling images.

“There’s a lot of hidden messages in it as well,” Archer said, comparing it to Where’s Waldo and Kilroy Wuz Here designs.

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Archer was also contracted to refinish tabletops inside the restaurant with designs of iconic musical stars. Several have been completed, but the new public health rules prompted Chyzowski to ask Archer to focus on finishing the mural project first.

Archer expects the mural to provide a fun ambiance for diners and eventually tourists, and a great photo backdrop for patrons.


 

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